Sunday, May 19, 2013

It takes time to understand

The date of Pentecost varies from year to year and back in 1989 I was blessed to have my first mass fall of the Solemnity of Pentecost. Looking back all these years I can say that I don't think I understood what a powerful act of divine providence it was, that the first mass at which I would preside was the mass at which we celebrate the beginning of the Church.

Both the first reading and the gospel tell us the story of disciples who are locked in the upper room of a house afraid to even go outside, uncertain of what the future holds for them. The same angry mob that yelled "crucify him, crucify him" may well now turn its anger on the followers of Jesus.

Then the might wind, the Ruah YHVH, the Holy Spirit blows through the house, lands on them and they are transformed. Their fear is replaced with courage, their doubt by faith, real faith.

In the second reading today St. Paul tells the Corinthians, "No one can say, 'Jesus is Lord,' except by the Holy Spirit." On the surface it seems absurd after all an atheist could say the words Jesus is Lord. But only the Holy Spirit enables us to truly grasps the meaning, and believe it. Jesus truly is the Kyrios, The Lord, the Master, the one God of the universe.

Today as we pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church may we be transformed, our fears and doubts wiped away, and may we from the depths of our being cry out JESUS IS LORD.